After reading Tam’s post on adding stuff to her first aid kits the other day, and seeing some offerings on Amazon, I decided (after looking at the checkbook and doing some math) that it was time to finally upgrade my current kit.
What was wrong with my old kit, you ask? Well, that requires a short history lesson. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a member of my town’s Rescue Squad. Back in the late ’90’s, we started up a bicycle EMS team for special events (mainly university football games). For that first year, while it was still being run on a trial basis, we were responsible for providing our own bicycles and our own bags for gear. Since our response area during football games included the dorms and other campus buildings, we had to be able to take our gear with us while leaving the bikes outside, so most of us used some form of fanny-pack. What I ended up getting was this:
That is actually a fishing pack that I picked up at Wally-World. Cheap, portable, and the extra belt pockets allowed a little more organization than most fanny-packs that were available at the time. But it’s also bulky, the main compartment has no internal organization, and it’s neither marked as a first aid kit nor is it a conspicuous color.
It worked, and it has worked as my in-car kit for over a decade, but it’s far from ideal. Last week, the stars aligned and I ordered this bag as a replacement.
It’s designed from the ground up as a medical kit, has multiple internal pockets and loops for better organization, is a conspicuous color (“Rescue Red”) and can be easily marked as a medkit with a Velcro patch. It is a little smaller, with less internal volume, but I also planned on thinning out my inventory a bit, since it’s main purpose is now as an off-duty personal kit.
So, on to the RFAK (Responder First Aid Kit) building! (Below the fold, since there are several pictures to load.)
Here we see the new bag open and laid out.
It took a little bit of trial and error, but here is the (currently) final configuration.
This is the “back” section – on the other side is the Velcro attachment to the mount. In here I have:
- Compact Personal Protective Equipment kit (stripped down to just the face shield and gown – I took out the large gloves because they’re the wrong size (I take mediums or smalls) and redundant)
- Pen and penlight
- Trauma shears
- 3 pairs of medium non-latex gloves
This is the most crowded section. Here I have:
- 5 4×4 gauze pads
- 2 5×9 gauze pads
- 3 oropharyngeal airway adjuncts (in different adult sizes)
- 3 rolls of 3″ gauze “cling”
- Pocket CPR mask
- Band-aids and alcohol wipes (in the small black pouch next to the airways)
The inner zippered pouch:
- Blood pressure cuff
And, here’s the final product!
Compare that to the layout of the old bag.
Much better! I still need to get a tourniquet and some QuikClot bandages, but I don’t think those will require any significant changes.
As a bonus, the new bag has a MOLLE/strap-on Velcro mounting “plate”, so you can strap it down in the car or to your gear, but still quickly tear it free when you need it.
Now I just need to get the last pieces and figure out where in my car I’m going to mount it.
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